Businessman Mel Morris has become a new owner and a director at Derby County with immediate effect.
Morris (58), is regarded by many as Derby’s most successful businessman and has taken up a significant minority shareholding within the Club and joins as a co-lead investor.
Morris is also a shareholder in, and non-executive chairman of, King Digital Entertainment Plc, the publicly quoted company behind the range of highly successful smartphone and mobile games including Candy Crush Saga, with more than 350 million monthly users.
Morris said: “I am delighted to be joining Derby County as a Director and am looking forward to what is an exciting future.
“The last 12 months has seen this club make considerable strides in the right direction.
“From the outside looking in, I have been very impressed with the professionalism and humility at all levels.
“To have been within a whisker of making the Premier League shows how well the team, under the exciting and capable guidance of Steve McClaren and his coaching staff, performed on the pitch this season.
“It is evident to me that Derby County is a very well-run operation and I hope, by coming on board, I can further strengthen the incredibly positive position that the Club enjoys both on and off the pitch.”
“As I said a few weeks ago publicly, the atmosphere at the iPro Stadium against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Play-Off Semi Finals was simply electric.
“I think that was the best game I’ve seen since the Club moved from the Baseball Ground for excitement and the style of play, and I am sure there’s more to come next season.
“While Wembley was a disappointing outcome for us all, I am confident that everyone will learn from this experience and be much better for it in the fullness of time.”
Morris was also behind the 1998 launch of the dating website uDate and the internet security company Prevx.
With Derby already in a strong financial position under the current Ownership Group, Morris will join the board to invest in and support the Club’s promotion ambitions moving forwards.